Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Mulbery fig, Sycomore fig, Wild fig, Strangler fig,Sycamore, Bush fig, Common cluster fig Ateso:Eborborei, ejinga Luganda: Mukunyu Lugbara: Ologo Lugwere: Kinabule Luo:Olam Lusoga: Mukunyu Madi: Oleo Runyoro: Mukunyu.

+ Tree Species

Ficus sycomorus

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Mulbery fig is indigenous to Uganda. One of the commonest African fig trees, extending also to Egypt and Arabia, Namibia and Madagascar, often riverine in drier country. In Uganda it grows in woodland and wooded grasslands, evergreen bush lands, forest edges and forest clearings associated with Acacia gerrardii,Acacia hockii and Combretum spp. Abundant in Queen Elizabeth National Park and in north-eastern Uganda. In Kampala, Mulbery fig can be along Bombo Road among other places.

+ Description

A large semi-deciduous spreading tree to 25 m, sometimes with stem buttresses and the base commonly spreading over the ground.

BARK: distinctive yellow to cream-brown, smooth.

LEAVES: oval to almost circular, to 15 cm, upper surface rough to touch, margin wavy, roughly toothed, base heart shaped, a hairy stalk to 3 cm.

FLOWERS: unisexual, cyclic and greenish.

FRUIT: in leaf axils or in dense clusters on main branches and trunk, each rounded, usually to 2.5 cm long, wider at the tip, yellow-red when ripe, edible. Cuttings strike readily, wildings are also used.

+ Uses

Edible: mature fruits are eaten fresh, stewed, or dried and stored for later use, the fruits are chewed to suck out the juice and then the rest is rejected, fruit can also be used for the preparation of an alcoholic beverage, leaves are used in soups and groundnut dishes, bark is chewed together with kola nut, wood ash is commonly used as a salt substitute, latex in the sap is used to coagulate milk. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Ficus+sycomorus

Medicine: bark, milky latex, leaves, and roots. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Ficus+sycomorus

An abundant white latex flows from cuts in the stem.

The sycamore fig is widely valued for spiritual and sacred purposes. Such use can be traced back to ancient Egypt, and it is often mentioned in the Holy Bible.

The bark is a dye sources for traditional 'bogolan' textiles, giving red-ochre to brownish colours.

The wood can be used for making mortars and pestles, drums, stools, doors, beehives, dugout canoes, carvings and for house building.

The wood can be used as firewood and for making charcoal.

Agroforestry: can be grown as a shade tree in coffee plantations, can be used for sand-dune fixation and riverbank stabilization, form a valuable litter improving the nutrient status, infiltration rate and water-holding capacity of the soil, used as a mulch, can be intercropped with bananas as an understorey.

The inner part of the root is used as weaving fiber, and a strong rope can be made from the inner bark.

An ornamental tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings, wildings.

+ Management

Fairly fast growing. Pruning as well as lopping to reduce shade can be done.

+ Remarks

A sacred tree for various communities. Figs are eaten by livestock, birds and wild animals. They can also be dried and have a good flavor and high food value. It can be planted with crops if shade is controlled. The wood is pale and easy to work.

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